Mental Capacity Act small payments scheme

The results of the Mental Capacity Act small payments scheme announced.

This news piece will talk about what this means for families and carers of people with learning disabilities and autistic people.  

The consultation paper ‘Mental capacity Act small payments scheme’ was published on 16 November 2021.

It invited people to give their views on the possibility of a small payments scheme.

If agreed, the scheme would have made it easier to access small amounts of money (less than £2,500) of people who lack capacity but do not have a Court of protection Order (CoP) or Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

This would have been beneficial, especially for family members and carers of people with learning disabilities and autistic people.

Members of Learning Disability England contributed to the consultation process and this week, the Ministry of Justice published its results.

It was decided that a small payments scheme would not be introduced.

For family members and carers especially, this news frustrating and worrying.

Ramandeep Kaur, Mum to Harry and member of Learning Disability England has written a blog on the subject.

Read the blog here

The Ministry of Justice has reported the reasons for the decision and have said more work will be done to overcome certain barriers that exist at the moment.

In particular:

  • Court of Protection forms are long and complicated.
  • Results of the consultation found that the process, cost and time it took to be legally allowed to access an account was ‘disproportionate’, or was unfairly complicated, when considering the small amount of funds people were asking to be able to access.  

The consultation response said work was already taking place to overcome this by improving the digital application process.

The results of a pilot project has seen reductions in process time from 12 to 8 weeks.

Digital forms will also allow people to access forms online, save and submit information digitally; improving accessibility.

  • Families and carers, especially of those whose children are approaching 18, are not fully aware of the Mental Capacity Act and what this can mean for accessing finances.

To address the lack of awareness, the Ministry of Justice will deliver a programme of awareness raising at government department level and will also join up locally and with the voluntary sector.

This engagement will be especially important for parents and carers of people lacking capacity and approaching the age of 18 who really need the correct support and information ahead of time.

Some useful and clear information on using the Mental Capacity Act can be found here.

If you would like to take action against the governments decision, Contact are supporting a parent-led campaign to help disabled children access their savings:

Find out more and contact your MP here

Learning Disability England would also be interested in hearing your experiences and also your views on the outcome of the Mental Capacity Act small payment scheme consultation.

Please contact us through